Turkey Patties From Sostanza


DEAR SOS: Last week I ate at Sostanza in West Los Angeles, and their delicious turkey patties left me wanting more. Can you obtain the recipe?

--MRS. R.A.S.

DEAR MRS. R.A.S.: The patties topped with onion marmalade pleased our tasting panel too. As well as making wonderful picnic burgers, the patties are fine as hors d’oeuvres when prepared bite-size. Sostanza chef Michael Fekr shared this recipe.

SOSTANZA’S TURKEY PATTY (Polpettine Misteriose)


1/2 pound coarsely textured bread, thinly sliced

1/2 cup milk

1 2/3 pounds ground turkey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salt, white pepper

1 cup flour

1/4 cup olive oil


Onion Marmalade

Soak bread in milk until soft. Squeeze bread and discard extra liquid.

Place ground turkey in bowl and mix with soaked bread, garlic and nutmeg. Add salt and white pepper to taste and mix well, about 5 minutes.

Using hands, form mixture into 6 uniform balls, flattening slightly between palms of hands. Place patties on piece of greased paper. Dust patties with flour.


Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and add patties. Fry until patties are browned on both sides. Remove patties and keep warm. Discard excess oil. Add Onion Marmalade to pan and cook over medium heat until thickened. Makes 6 servings.

Onion Marmalade

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 medium onions, thinly sliced


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/2 cup chicken broth


Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat and add onions. Cover, reduce heat and cook until onions begin to caramelize, stirring every few minutes.

Add vinegar and wine. Cook until liquid is absorbed. Add parsley and chicken broth. Increase heat to high and cook to semi-thick consistency. Set aside to cool.

DEAR SOS: Many years ago The Times published a wonderful recipe for zucchini cake. I made it many times to rave reviews but have since lost the recipe.



DEAR BARBARA: Clifton’s Zucchini Cake perhaps? This version of the popular zucchini cake has been a Times’ Food section favorite over the years. Try it and see. (Home garden zucchini growers take heed).


2 cups sugar

1 cup oil


3 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini, packed

1 cup finely chopped nuts

1 tablespoon vanilla


Cream Cheese Frosting

Mix sugar, oil and eggs on medium speed of mixer, 4 minutes. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Fold zucchini and nuts into sugar mixture. Fold in flour mixture and vanilla, blending thoroughly.

Turn batter into well-greased 9-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees 60 to 65 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes or longer. Remove and cool thoroughly on rack before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting. Makes 1 (9-inch) cake.


Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

5 tablespoons margarine


1 teaspoon lemon extract

Mix or beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, margarine and lemon extract until thoroughly blended.